Greek yogurt cheesecake is a cheesecake recipe made using Greek-style yogurt, a variety of yogurt that is thicker and richer than most other types of yogurt. This type of yogurt is strained to remove the water, creating a thicker yogurt with more protein. This dish generally also contains cream cheese, sugar, and eggs or egg whites, and may contain fresh cheese like cottage cheese or ricotta. Greek yogurt cheesecake crust is usually made from crushed cookies or graham crackers, but some have savory or neutral-flavored crusts, like those made from Melba toast.
Cheesecake made with Greek yogurt can be bake or no-bake. The no-bake options usually use gelatin to firm the cheesecake when it cools, while baked cheesecakes often have flour or eggs in them to help bind the cooking mixture. Some recipes call for the egg whites to be whipped into peaks and folded into the yogurt cheesecake mixture before baking.
Using Greek yogurt in a cheesecake can help reduce the fat and calories in a cheesecake without significantly changing the texture and mouth feel of the cheesecake. The higher fat in Greek yogurt makes it a better substitution in cheesecake than common supermarket yogurt. Most Greek yogurt varieties are not actually made in Greece, but are strained yogurts manufactured outside Greece, often in the United States.
Traditional common cheesecakes are typically made with cream, cream cheese, and fresh cheeses like ricotta or cottage cheese. The yogurt in Greek yogurt cheesecake replaces some of the high-fat dairy products used in a cheesecake recipe. In some recipes, the Greek yogurt is used as a replacement for all of the cheese used in the cake.
The crust on a Greek yogurt cheesecake generally does not differ from the crust on a traditional cheesecake. Usually, the crust for this type of cheesecake is made from crushed cookies that have been mixed with butter, pressed into the cheesecake tin and baked until crisp. The crust cools in the refrigerator while the cook prepares the filling. Greek yogurt cheesecake that is meant to replicate a New York style cheesecake should have crust made from shortbread cookies.
Greek yogurt cheesecake should not be confused with traditional Greek cheesecake, which contains no Greek yogurt. It is typically made from a hard Greek cheese that has been hydrated, crumbled into small granules, and mixed with flour and sugar before baking. Some traditional Greek cheesecakes were savory and made with vegetables and olives baked in.